COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Essential Services

What identification is required to accompany essential workers?

There is no ‘official’ or standard identification card that is required. Police will take a reasonable approach and endeavour to confirm the role of anyone spoken to, for example by the individual producing a letter of authorisation on company letterhead. It is also recommended that your “Safe In Store” pass is carried at all times.

What is an essential service business?

Fast Moving Consumer Goods businesses are essential. The definition is, "businesses involved in the supply, delivery, distribution and sale of food, beverage and other key consumer goods (but not takeaway shops). For a more detailed description on essential businesses please visit

Where should I register my food business as an essential service?

Food businesses should have already registered with MPI. Here are two documents from MPI protecting workers and essential services that MPI has circulated to give you an idea of what you will need to demonstrate in order to show you have plans in place as an essential service to maintain safety. MPI sets up a register for safe practice for essential COVID-19 businesses.

Is your essential service business finding it hard to get support services?

Contact the leadership team members of the businesses that usually provide supporting services. The Food & Grocery Council is happy to write letters for members to this effect.

Do you have technical food, labelling, composition, or manufacturing questions?

Contact the volunteer experts at

Merchandiser Support

During COVID19 what Health and Safety guidance can I provide to our merchandisers working in grocery stores?

Merchandising services are considered “essential services” and are still allowed to continue to work as usual. The following precautions are recommended while in stores: - Ensure you have your Safe in-Store pass with you - Register your attendance by signing in and out of each store - Aim to keep a physical distance of 2 metres while working in stores - Grocery stores will have hand sanitiser available for merchandisers to access so sanitise before & after leaving each store - Reduce face to face contact with store staff and customers where practical - Store cleaning materials are available for you to use if you need to clean a surface down - Where possible service stores after hours to reduce contact with customers See link below to the current Ministry of Health guidelines. COVID-19: Advice for essential workers, including personal protective equipment Send any further questions to

Who can I contact if I am able to support stores to restock/merchandise?

If your employees are on reduced work hours and available for re-stocking, contact Countdown and Foodstuffs on the email addresses below:


How do I get specialist advice in relation to cleaning my factory?

Contact the Food & Grocery Council who can assist with relevant contacts -


Where can I get up-to-date information on the road transport industry in regards to freight movement?

The RTF is the central point of contact for communication with Government, and the national media: RTF Website | Information from the RTF on COVID-19

What are deemed essential and non-essential services in relation to transport?

The link below will now provide up to date information about essential transport services.

How can I get access to additional metro trucks?

Contact RTF or Daniel Eisenhut (NHR Group) on 027 567 0028 or 09 415 2777.

Who do I talk to about airfreight or other export issues?

For assistance contact your NZTE Customer Manager, on 0800 555 888, or

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required for my essential workers?

Please visit the COVID19 Government Website: Official COVID-19 Posters, Fact Sheets and Material

What are my responsibilities around providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as an employer of merchandisers?

a) have a policy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) specific to your business b) supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to your policy c) use retailer provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if necessary and available.

How can retailers support merchandiser Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and equipment needs?

Retailers have confirmed that merchandisers will be treated as their own employees. Suppliers should equip their merchandisers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where possible.They will have extras in the store but this is not guaranteed all of the time.

Leadership Support

As a leader who can I talk to or get good advice from about challenges in my business during Covid-19?

Former FGC CEOs, Chairmen and other senior leaders have volunteered to be part of a FGC group to provide support and advice to our food and grocery leaders. To be matched with one of these leaders email Kelly Smith at

Grocery Supply

Who do I contact should I become aware of any potential shortages in the grocery supply/supply chain?

If you are a producer of any of the following items and note any potential/projected shortfall, please contact the Food & Grocery Council New Zealand -

  • flour/oil/sugar
  • rice/pasta/noodles
  • disinfectant/bleach
  • hand sanitiser/handwash/soap
  • baby formula/pet food
  • personal/cleaning wipes
  • breakfast cereals (hot and cold)
  • canned fruit/veg/meals
  • frozen veg/meats/potatoes

Grocery Costs

I am a manufacturer or supplier and my costs have risen a lot due to COVID-19, can I pass this on to the retailer?

For issues of this type please share the facts of how your costs have been affected with your retailer.

If I see what I believe to be profiteering how do I report it?

Any unusually high pricing can be reported to


What is being done to address security issues around our businesses?

The Food & Grocery Council is attending meetings with the Police, MBIE, MPI, and Retailers regarding security. Police are stepping up their presence in stores. If you suspect suspicious behaviour around your facilities ring 111 (if it's immediately serious). You are also welcome to email the address of your facility/factory to and it will be flagged in the police system as a priority should you have to call 111 regarding an actual event.

Employment Legalities

I am confused about the rules for employee leave and available support, where can I get reliable information?

Employment NZ provides official and accurate information: Guidance for essential workers and essential businesses